Proposal Development

A key step in seeking external funding for your research is planning and developing your proposal. Research Development Services (RDS) can help you in a variety of ways as you explore, design, and prepare your applications. Our services are designed to meet the unique needs of researchers across disciplines and career stages.

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Services for Researchers

  • Grant Planning: Develop a long-term grant strategy with RDS help, creating a clear roadmap for funding for each stage of your career.
  • Funding Searches: Learn to navigate the online funding database (Pivot) with individual training from RDS, and read the weekly OVPRI Funding Opportunities Newsletter to find announcements and opportunities for funding. RDS also can design customized funding searches for individual faculty, students, or units.
  • Navigating Submissions: RDS can help you interpret funding guidelines to develop competitive submission materials based on funder requirements. Our expertise helps researchers submit a strong, persuasive proposal that meets all the review criteria.
  • Proposal Critique: Feedback matters, particularly in the world of grant writing where the style is quite different from academic writing. From simple copy-edits to multiple-iteration reviews, RDS helps ensure grant applications are well organized, clear, and persuasive, and that they directly address a funder’s requirements. We can also review and edit all the ancillary documents that might be needed for submission, such as biographical sketches and facilities documents.
  • Project Management: For large, institutional grants (e.g., centers, graduate training), RDS can support your application by providing a high level of coordination and project management, such as gathering collaborators' materials, tracking proposal components and versions, and coordinating support letters.

 Important Proposal Development Policies and Procedures

  • Animal Welfare / Human Subject Research: All proposals involving animals or human subjects in research must consult with Research Compliance Services for necessary approvals.
  • Cost Sharing / Institutional Support: Some grants require support from the institution in the form of matching funds or general investment into services or resources. Find the OVPRI institutional commitment policy and request form on the linked page.
  • Principal Investigator Status: The Principal Investigator or PI is the lead person responsible for a project. Find guidance on PI responsibilities, PI status, and how to request exceptions if you do not automatically qualify as a PI.
  • Proposal Submission: All proposals for external funds that will be managed by the UO must be reviewed and approved by Sponsored Projects Services. Faculty and staff are not authorized to submit proposals for the university without SPS review and approval.
  • Proposal Tracking: As part of proposal review and approval, an Electronic Proposal Clearance (EPCS) record must be made, as well as completed and finalized a minimum of three business days before your proposal's due date.
  • Roles and Responsibilities: This graphic of the grant process (PDF) will help to clarify the varied units and responsible parties in proposal development. Text version grant process graphic (MSWord).
  • Timeline: This suggested timeline for proposal development incorporates the UO procedures for application submission.


The open-access book below discusses how to become more productive earlier in their career. Topics include: public perceptions of scholarly work and its use in policy; understanding the big picture of funding and national priorities as well as identifying funding sources; research methods; collecting data and materials; writing grant proposals; publishing results; ethical conduct; bias and peer review; intellectual property and compliance regulations; partnerships and collaboration; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and the future of research.

Demystifying the Academic Research Enterprise: Becoming a Successful Scholar in a Complex and Competitive Environment

By: Kelvin K. Droegemeier